1st Edition

Inside Smart Cities Place, Politics and Urban Innovation

    322 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The era of the smart city has arrived. Only a decade ago, the promise of optimising urban services through the widespread application of information and communication technologies was largely a techno-utopian fantasy. Today, smart urbanisation is occurring via urban projects, policies and visions in hundreds of cities around the globe.

    Inside Smart Cities provides real-world evidence on how local authorities, small and medium enterprises, corporations, utility providers and civil society groups are creating smart cities at the neighbourhood, city and regional scales. Twenty three empirically detailed case studies from the Global North and South – ranging from Cape Town, Stockholm and Abu Dhabi to Philadelphia, Hong Kong and Santiago – illustrate the multiple and diverse incarnations of smart urbanism. The contributors draw on ideas from urban studies, geography, urban planning, science and technology studies and innovation studies to go beyond the rhetoric of technological innovation and reveal the political, social and physical implications of digitalising the built environment.

    Collectively, the practices of smart urbanism raise fundamental questions about the sustainability, liveability and resilience of cities in the future. The findings are relevant to academics, students, practitioners and urban stakeholders who are questioning how urban innovation relates to politics and place.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    Notes on contributors

    Foreword Simon Joss

    1 Introduction: situating smart cities

    Andrew Karvonen, Federico Cugurullo and Federico Caprotti


    2 Realising smart cities: partnerships and economic development in the emergence and practices of smart in Newcastle, Australia

    Robyn Dowling, Pauline McGuirk and Sophia Maalsen

    3 Dissecting the Frankenstein city: an examination of smart urbanism in Hong Kong

    Federico Cugurullo

    4 Ordinary Chinese smart cities: the case of Wuhan

    Robert Cowley, Federico Caprotti, Michele Ferretti and Chen Zhong

    5 The free zone and smart-global urbanization in Philadelphia

    Alan Wiig


    6 Actually-existing Smart Dublin: exploring smart city development in history and context

    Rob Kitchin, Claudio Coletta and Liam Heaphy

    7 Smart cities as strategic actors: insights from EU Lighthouse projects in Stavanger, Stockholm, and Nottingham

    Håvard Haarstad and Marikken W. Wathne

    8 Smart goes green: digitalising environmental agendas in Bristol and Manchester

    Kerry Burton, Andrew Karvonen and Federico Caprotti

    9 Smart urbanism and the visibility and reconfiguration of infrastructure and public action in the French cities of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Nice

    Marie Veltz, Jonathan Rutherford and Antoine Picon

    10 The transnational smart city as urban eco-modernisation: the case of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi

    Federico Cugurullo and Davide Ponzini


    11 Acknowledging the idiot in the smart city: experimentation and citizenship in the making of a low-carbon district in Santiago de Chile

    Martín Tironi and Matías Valderrama

    12 A smart equivocation: co-laboration and subsidiarity in Munich’s smart city consortium

    Ignacio Farías and Claudia Mendes

    13 Parramatta Smart City and the quest to build Australia’s next great city

    Sarah Barns and Andrea Pollio

    14 From participation to startup urbanisation?: re-situating open data in Lisbon

    Luís Carvalho and Mário Vale


    15 Barcelona: from corporate smart city to technological sovereignty

    Hug March and Ramon Ribera-Fumaz

    16 Smart innovation at the margins: learning from Cape Town and Kibera

    Nancy Odendaal

    17 Innovating for an aging society: insights from two Japanese smart cities

    Gregory Trencher and Andrew Karvonen

    18 Life in smart Seoul: the female factor

    Sofia Shwayri

    19 Conclusions: the long and unsettled future of smart cities

    Andrew Karvonen, Federico Cugurullo and Federico Caprotti



    Andrew Karvonen is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Urban Development at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

    Federico Caprotti is Associate Professor in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Exeter, UK.

    "The global rise of smart urban initiatives over the past decade has been impossible for any individual scholar to keep up with. Smart discourse has been widely critiqued but actually-existing and emergent smart spaces have received only patchy attention. Taking us inside and around a world of smart cities, Karvonen, Curugullo and Caprotti have assembled a volume that will be widely appreciated within, and well beyond, the academy." - Tim Bunnell, Professor of Human Geography, National University of Singapore, Singapore

    "As the smart city idea is moving from rhetoric to reality, this collection of essays provides a unique and indispensable investigation into the variegated instantiations of the smart city narrative in cities of the Global North and South. If you want to understand what ‘smart’ does to cities around the world, Inside Smart Cities is a must read." - Ola Söderström, Professor of social and cultural geography, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

    "Inside Smart Cities is a welcome addition to and a sorely needed collection of curated case studies of the evolving model of urban development that applies digital technologies to the design and deployment of contemporary urban infrastructure. Multi-scalar, interdisciplinary, and global in scope, the collection provides a panoptic view of this evolving practice of urban planning, enabling readers to internalize key consequences of what until now has been encapsulated into stories that were both fragmentary and idiosyncratic in scope. Inside Smart Cities makes clear the ambivalent nature of this technological innovation and puts the responsibility of its consequence squarely in the hands of the user. Adopters therefore bear the responsibility to ensure that principles of distributive justice serve as discerning benchmarks in deployment schemes." - Amy Glasmeier, Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

    "Inside Smart Cities provides a timely analysis of the ways in which smart city development is unfolding globally. Its critical contribution lies in bringing together a diverse portfolio of cases - each of them rich in interrogating how smart city discourse is reshaping urban realities. Moving beyond discursive critiques, this volume is a must-read for anyone, from students and scholars to practitioners and policy actors, interested in grasping the state-of-the-art in smart urban development practices around the world." - Professor Rob Raven, Monash Sustainable Development Institute (Melbourne), Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development (Utrecht)

    "In Inside Smart Cities, Andrew Karvonen, Federico Cugurullo, and Federico Caprotti have assembled an impressive collection of smart city case studies, authored by a diverse group of leading smart city scholars. Looking at cases around the world, the authors compellingly demonstrate not only the diversity of smart city initiatives, but also the diverse issues these initiatives pose. Smart cities must always be understood contextually, in relationship to other urban processes, as contested as well as supported, and affecting different groups differently. This nuanced and insightful collection raises at least as many questions as it answers, as it should."- Byron Miller, Professor of Geography and Urban Studies Program Coordinator, University of Calgary